The health and safety of our fellow Texans facing the COVID-19 pandemic is unquestionably a matter of the highest priority. Actions must be taken to address the threat. However, actions pressed with the force of law need input from those elected to write laws.
Over the course of the last four months, Governor Abbott has issued more than twenty executive orders under the Texas Disaster Act of 1975. We do not believe, however, that the Disaster Act was written to address a disaster of the magnitude or crisis of the length COVID-19 has turned out to be. That's why we're calling on Governor Greg Abbott today to help us stop government overreach and limit executive power by reforming the Texas Disaster Act of 1975.
One popular proposal is to allow for a time limit on gubernatorial disaster declarations—for example, if a major disaster affecting a large part of the state exceeds a certain number of days, the Legislature must be called into session to address further actions. Another is to prohibit state agencies from suspending or revoking business or professional licenses due to a disaster declaration. These are the solutions for which our constituents have been asking, and we will always be happy to advocate on their behalf.
Chairman, Texas Freedom Caucus